Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Don't Have the Time for My Personal Brand

The questions, and the obvious struggle, seems to be popping up everywhere I turn. Colleagues and clients alike are starting to understand just how important having a personal brand is for their career.

Now, for those of you that think "personal brand talk" doesn't hold any weight; really impact the world of work, or make a difference in the trajectory of your career, please stop reading and go back to watching Happy Days.

It's a digital world now...are you with me?

Time or Priority
Here's the chatter...

"Jay, I wish I had the time to work on this stuff....I work hard, love my job, but know I should be doing more for myself....and I know it will help my company too..."

And here's my response...

"How about we replace the word 'time' with 'priority?' It goes something like this...I haven't made my brand a priority." 

How does that feel?

Getting Started Is Easy
I'm not sure how the "mystery of a personal brand" started, but candidly friends, there is no mystery. If you can copy and paste, text, or click a share button you are well on your way.

3 Steps to a Fast Start!
- Make sure your social media accounts are up to date (LinkedIn, twitter, Instagram, etc.)

- Identify 10-15 sources of content you would like to share (always include your employer's content)

- Share content across your social channels throughout the week


You're off and running!

How About You
Let me help you get started. Reach out when you're ready, and we'll get you set up and rocking in no time! 

Let's do this!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Can't Bring Me Down

I thought you could use a heavy dose of my view of the last twenty years of work!

You Can't...

- make me a hater with your hate

- worry me with your rumors

- get me worked up simply because you are an insecure old-school leader

- stop me from pushing the organization forward

- slow me down from being a positive force in the company

- block me from being the mentor you wish you could be

- stand in my way from networking around the world to learn and grow

- instill any self-doubt or fear in me

- force me to follow approaches that are out of step with the modern world

You can't bring me down!

How About You
Are you ready to be an unstoppable force in your organization? Go get it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Don't Be A Human Resources Jargolonian

Every professional discipline has a unique culture that goes along with it. Key terms, work processes, codes of ethics, behavioral norms, and words that inform various situations or issues are all part of the work.

Some of these words are important and need to be understood and used regularly to demonstrate competency and awareness.

Other words are simply jargon that are used in an attempt to demonstrate competence, but in reality end up clogging conversations, meetings, and other forms of communication with extra words.

Here are a few of my "favorites."

Stakeholder - an important term that is used to recognize the people who are interested in certain issues, projects, or organizations. 

Unfortunately, this perfectly good word is so overused that I get hungry when I hear it...

Fork + Knife = Steak Holder

Synergy - a word that is intended to demonstrate the power of working together. However, this too is so overused I find myself wondering....

Who actually goes home at the end of the day and says "we created so much synergy today!"

No one.

Straw Man - a wonderful concept that should ignite a productive brainstorming session on a certain topic, idea or initiative.

However, never in my life, prior to moving to the consulting side of life, did I ever use the term straw man in my corporate roles....the only thing that comes to mind for me is...

The Wizard of Oz.

How About You
Which words do you love to use, but actually kick off an avalanche of eye rolls around the conference room table?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Beggin' and Payin'

Ridin' high when I was king,
Played it hard and fast cause I had everything,
You walked away, won me then,
But easy come and easy go and it would end

Too Comfortable
When I look back on my career and think about all the twists and turns, highs and lows, and everything in between one thing becomes clear. Without people giving me an opportunity I would have nothing.


Sometimes I can lose sight of the journey I've been on simply because the pace of life is so hectic. Juggling my responsibilities inside Kinetix as well as with our clients, going full speed in my busy personal life, squeezing in daily workouts, and generally trying to stay out of trouble can all be a distraction. 

I don't necessarily feel bad about being so busy, in fact it is a blessing to have so many exciting things happening...even if they seem to be happening all at the same time!

Stop Begging, Start Paying
The risk, obviously, is that what I have now can erase my memory of what it took to get here. More importantly, it blurs the memory of who got me here.

The early part of my career was all about working hard, and hoping for an opportunity. The professional version of begging, if you will. Fortunately, there were many people who saw something in me, and took risks of their own to give me a chance.

Now, it's my turn! In fact, it's been my turn for quite a while. I've embraced connecting with people early in their careers. I love encouraging new members of the teams I've worked with, even to the point of challenging them to think beyond their role with the organization because I thought they could do more right now.

It would be impossible to list everyone who has been influential in my career, but here are a few...

Dad and Mom, far and away the most influential role models in my life

Paul McBride, undergraduate school professor

George Haskett, graduate school professor

Mike McNally, first HR VP that I reported to and early mentor

Kathryn Gillette, CEO, former boss, and mentor

Trish McFarlane, HR leader, social media, blogging mentor and friend

Mike VanDervort, HR leader, social media, blogging mentor and friend

How About You
How do you connect with the early careerists in your company? Do you notice them; or, are you too busy running to your next meeting to "really see" them? 

In addition to my focus on payin' - I'm looking forward to serving as a formal mentor for one of our interns this summer!

How are you payin'?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Harsh Reality of Politics & HR

There is a sinister being floating around the HR profession. It permeates all aspects of leadership, and often has deadly consequences for the brave HR pro who doesn't understand it.


Not Savvy? You Have No Chance
But first, let's discuss the critical skill of having organizational savvy. The workplace, and specifically HR's role to play in it, is a path fraught with peril. Competing executive team interests, fear of change, and the intimidating effect modern business and social tools have on old-school leaders are significant political landmines. 

Add to that the demands of an ever changing and contemporary candidate pool puts tremendous pressure on those leaders who want to move away from traditional approaches (read here outdated and horribly ineffective), and move to something that aligns with how our digital world actually works (read here, it's 2017.)

For the highly motivated leader who lacks the organizational savvy to understand that simply putting forward good ideas is not even remotely close enough to a real strategy, the missteps can derail one's credibility in a matter of meetings.

"Because organizational savvy entails "high-integrity" political skills, retaining a moral compass is the cornerstone component. Savvy individuals use ethical means to achieve what's good for their organizations. They advance their careers and maintain high moral standards."

Good Ideas and Getting Results
One of the questions I'm asked constantly is how I was able to move forward with an aggressive employer brand strategy (social media, blogging, podcast, etc...) while working in an industry that is conservative, and candidly, one that rarely understands how contemporary talent acquisition work gets done.

It was not as complicated as one might think. The biggest issues that had to be overcome did include internal politics; but fear and lack of insight from the other executives were the real barriers. It was all about me and my approach. I had to be savvy.

First, I stopped using HR jargon. No one cares about it except HR people. It doesn't drive business results or help the bottom line. 

Second, I used the business language of the industry, because that is what matters. Period.

Third, I linked my contemporary approaches that were clearly necessary, to the strategic plan of my organization. Your HR plan doesn't mean a thing if it is not linked to the organization. (see HR jargon reference)

End result? Success across the board: employee engagement, recruiting, employer brand, and job satisfaction for the team.

How About You
Are you still using HR lingo and wondering why everyone is not excited about your every word? No one cares. Do you understand the political landscape of your company? Really? How? Step out of your HR shell, embrace the industry you are in, and watch your influence and success grow.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

10 Things I Like

I'm a big fan of all sorts of things...and I thought I'd share a few with you today. Maybe some of these are on your list....

1. Leaders who are not afraid to call bull**** when they see it, regardless of the political fallout. If you stop reading right here, keep this thought in mind the next time you remain silent in the Board room.

2. Employees who bring ideas forward all the time. They're thinking and trying to make your organizaiton better. Hang on to them.

3. Working out like a beast.

4. Technology that makes my life easier. Think Wunderlist and Evernote. You seriously aren't still writing things down...and then rewriting them on a list somewhere, right? 

5. Fast, loud, heavy music.

6. Leaders who understand that everyone is watching their every move, word, and deed. We're in a bubble. Act accordingly.

7. Fast, loud race cars.

8. Kind colleagues. We've all seen too many self-absorbed "experts" out there...for God's sake, be nice to each other.

9. People who understand that partnership means actually working together.

10. Fast, loud, heavy music. (I really like it, so it gets two mentions)

How About You
What gets you fired up, makes you feel good, or simply helps you get through the day hassle-free?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Invisible Leader in a Digital World

I have the privilege of meeting and working with many talented leaders across the country. They are bright, experienced, successful, and motivated to take their organizations to the next level.

They share a common bond in that each one is struggling to find the talent their organizations are desperate for; yet when it comes to positioning themselves and their employer brands in the mainstream, suddenly the reality of their inaction becomes painfully clear.

They are invisible...and so are their organizations.

But We Provide Great Care
What is so often confusing for leaders in hospitals, and other organizations along the healthcare continuum, is that their status as a provider (think MD, Hospital, Long Term Care facility, etc.) has nothing to do with their reputation as an employer.

For some reason, these concepts get interwoven so frequently that today's leaders are missing an enormous opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Everyone knows what you do...no one knows what it's like to work for you.

Digital World
Whether or not "experienced" leaders want to accept it or not, we live in a digital world. There is no point in making lame excuses that you don't have time to learn (read here, it is not a priority to learn.)

Or, that you don't understand how digital business tools work (read here, I can save patients lives with my clinical skills but I am too embarrassed to let anyone know I can't figure out twitter.)

Trust me, we already know. You're invisible, remember?

How About You
So, what are you going to do about your status as an accomplished leader who has not remained current? Who are you going to reach out to for help without publicly shaming yourself?

Me, that's who. I'd love to help you get started. If I could do it...you absolutely can.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.